Wendy Bird thought she was going to be creating jewelry in Utah. Instead she ended up creating opportunities for families internationally.
In 2002 Wendy woke up one morning and checked her e-mail. She was looking for someone to supply pearls for her small jewelry business and after having e-mailed several addresses for help, Flootz from the Philippines had sent her a message. Flootz had an idea for Wendy: instead of pearls, would Wendy be interested in buying finished pieces? Wendy, who enjoyed designing and making her own jewelry as a hobby and business, and who is also a certified gemologist and appraiser, asked for Flootz to send her some samples she could pay for. Flootz then sent a six page e-mail detailing the extreme poverty she witnessed daily in her country.
Picture taken by Wendy on one of her many visits to the Philippines
Flootz, once impoverished herself, had gotten an education and become a manager at an architecture firm. Every Friday when she was paid, Flootz would take any extra money she didn’t need to live on and gave it away to the people living as squatters. She said,
“There’s so many fishes in the sea, there’s plenty for everyone. I know there’s a better way to do this instead of just giving away my money. It has always been told to me you can give a man a fish and feed him for a day, but if you teach them to fish you’ll feed them for a lifetime. Will you help me to do that?”
What could Wendy say to this beautiful plea except YES?!!!! She would help teach the women of the Philippines to fish.
Wendy teaching jewelry-making in the Philippines
Today, each of our handcrafted bracelets and necklaces comes with a fish charm, symbolic of Flootz’s invitation more than a decade ago to join her in teaching women how to fish. Today Pearls with Purpose has “fishermen” in the Philippines, Cambodia and India. As Pearls with Purpose grows and sells more jewelry, it can help teach more women to fish.
The sea is still full of fish. Help the fish go to the people who need it the most. Support micro-financing in developing countries by buying this bracelet and other jewelry here.